to Expand Conference Coverage is now filming at IEEE conferences

5 November 2010

If you don’t have the time or the money to attend an IEEE conference, you might be able to turn to instead. IEEE’s TV arm has teamed with a number of IEEE societies to present broadcasts of a select number of conferences. The Event Showcase program offers videos of keynote speeches, plenary sessions, technology announcements, vendor presentations, and more.

“Societies and conference organizers have been looking for new models that will let them share the content of their meetings,” says Mark David, manager of member products for the IEEE Member & Geographic Activities group, in Piscataway, N.J. “ fits the bill.” has covered five conferences this year, and David says he hopes to air twice as many next year.

The five events broadcast this year were the Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition; the AMA-IEEE Conference on Medical Technology Devoted to Individualized Healthcare; the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing; the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation; and the International Microwave Symposium.

For those interested in the latest in power electronics, the Exhibitor Overview video from the Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition in February in Palm Springs, Calif., showcased products by TranSic and Texas Instruments. TranSic displayed its bipolar silicon carbide transistors for photovoltaic systems and hybrid electric vehicles. Texas Instruments displayed a contactless charging pad for lithium batteries used in cellphones, digital cameras, and remote controls.

The first AMA-IEEE Conference on Medical Technology Devoted to Individualized Healthcare, held in March in Washington, D.C., covered the latest in genetic testing. Gregory Feero, advisor to the director of the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute, discussed the topic in his plenary session, filmed by, “Genomic Discoveries and Personalized Medicine: Necessary But Not Sufficient.”

“Finishing the sequencing of the human genome project was not the end,” Feero said. “It was only the beginning of us being able to understand how the genome functions.” He noted that in the past decade, researchers have made an “avalanche of new discoveries, relating variations in genetic test results to the risks of common complex conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.” He predicted that by the end of this year, engineers should be able to sequence an entire human genome in one week using a single machine. “Eventually,” he said, “we will be able to do this in less than a day.”

The IEEE Signal Processing Society held IEEE-Thematic Meetings on Signal Processing in conjunction with the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing in Dallas in March. This conference focused on processing for social networks, and covered the presentations on data gathered from dynamic social interaction, mobile phones, and peer-to-peer sharing networks.

This year’s IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, held in Anchorage in May, celebrated 50 years of robotics. A highlight of the exhibitor demonstrations included the PR2 robot, which provides a common hardware platform so that different researchers can build on its technology without having to construct a robot from scratch. caught it all on camera. The robot can move around and grasp objects in complex ways, allowing it to “perform everyday tasks such as folding laundry,” said IEEE Member Keenan Wyrobek, who demonstrated the equipment for the broadcast.

PR2 is manufactured by Willow Garage, a Menlo Park, Calif.-company that develops hardware and open-source software for personal robotics applications. Wyrobek is codirector of the company’s Personal Robotics Program. A few organizations applying the robot to their R&D are meeting regularly to share their progress and explore new applications.

Zachary Lemnios, director of defense research and engineering for the U.S. Department of Defense, was the keynote speaker at the International Microwave Symposium in May in Anaheim, Calif. Lemnios, a senior member, spoke about the DOD System 2020 initiative that strives to make the U.S. military more technologically nimble, allowing it to release new systems according to commercial timelines of weeks or months, not years or decades.

“System 2020 will develop these new tools and approaches to allow us to successfully operate our platforms in a range of complex operational environments, whether in the deserts of Iraq, the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or in Antarctica,” Lemnios said. “We have developed an initial concept for concurrent design across multiple user environments and are exploring the idea of model-based engineering, platform-based engineering, and [adding] capabilities on demand.”

According to Lemnios, platform-based engineering will provide the architecture that will enable systems to be readily adapted as technology and user needs evolve. And, he added, “Our collective push to extend the golden state of microwaves, to inspire new research frontiers, and our vision for new systems engineering approaches will require a larger and more technically deep workforce.”

IEEE conference organizers who would like coverage should contact Mark David.

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